Fishing Kayak Buyer’s Guide 2021 - The Fisherman

Fishing Kayak Buyer’s Guide 2021

A look at two-dozen of the hottest fishing kayaks on the market.

If there is a silver lining to the nightmare that was 2020, it’s the surge in popularity of outdoor recreational activities. We as fisherman saw this firsthand with fishing seasons being opened early in some areas, and unprecedented sales reported at the retail level, only being held back by the difficulty in supply meeting the demand. Among the angling pursuits that saw some of the largest growth was in the world of kayak fishing, and manufacturers stepped up their game even more in the following months to unleash some awesome new kayaks to go with the staple fleet of quality craft already on the market.

So, if you dabbled in kayak fishing in the past, or if you’re looking to get in on the fun this year, here is a sampling of two-dozen awesome fishing kayaks from the leaders in the industry!

Bonafide

bonafidekayaks.com

Designed for maximum stability without sacrificing paddling performance and angler-friendly features where you need them, the SS127 provides the ultimate in fishability. Whether lake, fishing, inshore or offshore fishing, this is truly an incredible fishing kayak ready for all water environments.

MSRP: $1649

Dubbed the “SUV of Kayaks,” the EX123 was designed with stability, versatility, and utility in mind, making it a great choice for paddling, camping, fishing, or all of the above. With unmatched features, performance, and storage capabilities this kayak excels on every level and is ready to take you on your next adventure.

MSRP: $999

Feelfree

feelfreeus.com

The Lure 11.5 V2 features the modern evolution of pedal-powered kayak propulsion offering forward and reverse pedal or power driven capabilities in one single unit (motor-drive sold separately.) Packed with a ton of standard features, and ready for customization to meet your needs, whether fishing inland waters or wide open oceans—this kayak fears no water!

MSRP: $2,299

Designed for the serious angler, the Dorado is the pinnacle of kayak fishing with the ability to choose paddle, pedal or power propulsion. Built from the ground up with a focus on stability, tracking and performance, whether you choose to stand up to cast, lean over to land a fish or just want to stretch your legs, you’ll quickly feel the difference!

MSRP: $2,699

Hobie

hobie.com

Combining the power and propulsion of the MirageDrive GT with an SUP, the Mirage ITrek 11 is an inflatable kayak built for everything from day trips to overnight escapes. Featuring a rugged inflatable dropstitch hull with triple-chamber construction and EVA standing pads for improved traction, this packable craft opens up a world of possibilities to the kayak angling enthusiast.

MSRP: $2,499

The Mirage Outback is a fully-loaded fishing machine built for every conceivable fishing expedition, whether you’re prowling the ocean for monster gamefish or stalking bass in your favorite freshwater fishing hole. Powered by the MirageDrive 180 with Kick-Up Turbo Fins + ARC Cranks, this fine-tuned angling vessel is highly versatile, fast, quiet, and exceedingly nimble.

MSRP: $3,149 ($3,299 for Camo)

Jackson

jacksonadventures.com

The YuPIK changes the very definition of versatility in fishing kayaks. From bow to stern this kayak is packed with rigging solutions, track systems, storage options and comfort unrivaled in the market today.

MSRP: $1,299

The Bite FD packs a ton of features into an economically-priced pedal kayak package. Loaded with gear storage and rigging options all around, this is a great kayak across a diverse variety of waterways including small lakes and rivers, ponds, streams and inshore saltwater.

MSRP: $2,199

Native Watercraft

nativewatercraft.com

The Slayer Propel Max 12.5 is built off the super-popular Slayer platform and improved to the Max for 2021! With built-in features including adjustable seating, an extended rudder, rod storage, recessed transducer mounts and more provides a serious kayak fishing platform that will perform equally well in both fresh and saltwater fishing environments.

MSRP: $2,599

Weighing-in at just 62 pounds, the Slayer Propel 10 is the lightest 10-foot pedal drive kayak on the market. Whether standing or sitting, this is a super-stable platform built to get in and back out of the fishiest of spots.

MSRP: $2,199

Ocean Kayak

oceankayak.johnsonoutdoors.com

Anglers looking for a stable and comfortable paddle kayak will find everything they need in the Prowler Big Game II. Set up with the fisherman in mind, it features plenty of storage for gear and six integrated mounting brackets for ultimate angling customization.

MSRP: $1,449

The Malibu Pedal is lightning-fast and ultra-maneuverable. Featuring a moderate rocker hull shape and thoughtful fishing features, this pedal kayak is a do-it-all saltwater watercraft. As all Ocean Kayak and Old Town boats, the PDL drive comes with an industry leading 5-year warranty and a lifetime hull warranty.

MSRP: $1,899

Old Town

oldtowncanoe.johnsonoutdoors.com

The Sportsman Bigwater PDL 132 is the perfect pedal kayak for handling all sorts of water conditions. The 13-foot, 2-inch hull provides the efficiency desired in more open water and the stability required when standing. With instant forward and reverse by way of the PDL Drive, anglers enjoy precise boat control while their hands remain free to fish.

MSRP: $2,599

Winner of the ICAST 2020 ‘Best of Show’ award, the Sportsman AutoPilot 120 motorized kayak leverages a 45-pound thrust, saltwater-ready Minn Kota trolling motor featuring Spot-Lock technology; motoring you to your fishing spot faster and holding your position over the hole. Spot-Lock technology holds your kayak in position despite wind and current, maintaining your position while keeping your hands free to cast, fight a fish, or change lures.

MSRP $3,799

Pelican

pelicansport.com

The Sentinel 100XP Angler is perfect for the angler looking for an open space to bring extra gear and to be able to stand-up safely while casting from their kayak. A super-comfortable Ergocoast XP seating system, built-in storage compartments, rigging tracks, and twin-arched multi chine hull come together to produce an extremely stable and customizable fishing machine.

MSRP: $399

The Catch Power 100 builds on the popular Catch family of kayaks and comes pre-wired to add your favorite electric trolling motor with plug and play ease. Packed with standard features and stable enough to fish off of in both a seated as well as standing positon, it remains light enough to be easily car-topped by a single person and opens up a world of possibilities to the kayak angler.

MSRP: $999

Perception

perceptionkayaks.com

The newest generation in affordable fishing, the Outlaw 11.5 boasts a wide-open deck, an expansive standing platform, seriously elevated seating, and intuitive features throughout, disrupting the notion that an incredibly unique angling platform needs to break the bank. From front to back, this kayak is packed with storage and customization options while maintaining a very open and unobstructed fishing platform.

MSRP: $749

The perfect first sit-on-top fishing kayak, the Pescador Pro 10.0 is outfitted with the features and performance serious anglers demand. Fast, stable, and designed to track straight in variable conditions—it’s the total package for effortlessly covering water on your favorite lake, pond or flat-water river to find the fish.

MSRP: $749

Sea Eagle

seaeagle.com

The 350fx Fishing Explorer is a robust, beefed up, fully accessorized version of the rugged Explorer Series. With a huge maximum load capacity of 575 pounds and built of double layered, nearly indestructible, 2000 Denier reinforced protective layers, you can customize this kayak to your needs and specifications for the utmost in fishability.

MSRP: $1,099 – $1,299

Whether on a solo adventure or with a partner, the FastTrack Angler 385fta will get you anywhere your angling adventures take you. Packed with great key features including front and rear spray skirts, non-slip EVA foam floor pad, reinforced sidewalls and rigid inflatable keel, kayak angling has never been easier or more comfortable.

MSRP: $1,149 – $1,529

Vibe

vibekayaks.com

Not sure if you want a kayak or SUP but know you want to get into paddling? Well, the Cubera 120 Hybrid Kayak might the perfect compromise for you. This unique all-grip, no-slip, foam-injected unsinkable fish-catching platform that outperforms and delivers unrivaled sight-fishing and access to either ultra-shallow shoreline waters or the deepest ocean spots.

MSRP: $1,099

The most complete fishing kayak ever, the Shearwater 125 provides unrivaled speed and stability, exceeded only by its limitless options for angling customization and its incomparable choices of pedal, power, or paddle acceleration (Vibe X-Drive pedal system, Bixpy Jet motor, Vibe Evolve paddle, or the unique combo of all three) – at an unmatched price to build the fishing kayak of your dreams to fit any and all budgets.

MSRP: $1,399

Wilderness Systems

wildernesssystems.com

A confidence-inspiring fishing machine for both the novice and expert, the Recon 120 is a factory-loaded boat that you can rig your way. With a fully customizable open platform, a lineup of revolutionary new features, and the freedom to choose the preferred mode of propulsion – paddle, pedal, or power – the Recon series of kayaks are the future of fishability.

MSRP: $1,099

The Recon 120 HD builds off the Recon 120 but comes standard with the tried-and-true, easy-deploy Helix PD Pedal Drive system packing more performance than any other pedal driven kayaks in its class. A supremely wide-open deck affords the angler an abundance of space, freedom of motion, and provides a rock-solid platform from which to stand, cast, and hookset in confidence making for the ultimate in fishing kayaks.

MSRP: $2,149

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